Every week, I write a column for Bizwomen.com entitled, “Connecting.” Recently, I published a piece called, “Honor Your Commitments,” which focused on the importance of following through by doing the things you say you’re going to do. Seems like such a simple notion – if you make a promise, keep it! However, despite their very best intentions, people often fail to close the loop.
A friend reached out to me to say how appreciated the piece was, but that it left him wanting more. He wanted to know, “how do I remember to remember?” Great question!
In honoring my commitment to follow up on his request, below is a short list of tips for remembering to remember:
- Write on the business card. When you meet someone at a networking event or reception, assuming you exchange cards, jot down a few notes on the back of the card to help you remember what you promised to do and who you promised to do it for. CAUTION: In some circles, it is considered impolite to write on someone else’s business card… and, anymore, sometimes cards are coated or made of materials that make it impossible to write on them. In those cases, take a note on a memo pad or put it in your smartphone.
- Make a List. I am a perpetual list maker. Using a legal pad or notebook, I keep a running list of things to do. If something on the list does not get done today, it moves to tomorrow’s list. My point of caution here is that you won’t want to move things to “tomorrow” too frequently lest they never get done!
- Schedule it. If you know you need to follow up on something, make space for it on your calendar. By scheduling it – and doing your best to stay true to your calendar – you will ensure dedicated time to complete the task(s) at hand.
- Employ the help of others. Are you lucky enough to have an assistant or a buddy to help keep you honest about completing the tasks on your to-do list? Ask them to ensure that you follow through. If it’s appropriate, you may be able to delegate certain tasks to your helper; under other circumstances requiring your direct involvement in the follow-up, your helper may be able to simply make sure you schedule the time to get it done (see tip #3 above).
- Don’t delay. If you are particularly concerned about completing the task – especially if it is for a very important person in your life (e.g. a client, a prospect, a close friend, a family member, et al), just do it! Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do… right now!
What tactics do you use to ensure you honor your commitments? Please take a moment to share your ideas at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com. And, if you would like to follow me on Bizwomen.com, sign up for their newsletter here. Happy Networking!